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Barocco, 2009-2019

Global collaborative embroidery & performance.

Art Dubai 2009 The Royal Academy, London 2010

 Valcellina Award, Italy 2012 Gallery Maeght, Paris 2012 Rook & Raven Gallery 2015

50 Embroiderers. 15 Countries. 1 Dress

Funded by the British Council, Barocco is a decade-long embroidery project by British artist Kirstie Macleod that is centred around a single red dress.

Since 2009, the dress has traveled around the world being continuously embroidered and added to by 50 different participants to date. Its most recent contributors include the Bedouin Fanasina collective, a group of female embroiderers based in Egypt’s Sinai who provide economic independence and education to women in the region.

Taken from the ancient Portuguese word for a “rough or imperfect pearl”, Barocco is a performance piece where Kirstie Macleod sits within a central perspex cube wearing and embroidering the ornate red dress that fills the tiny space around her.

Over the remaining five years, elements of Barocco will be worked on and over by embroiderers around the globe until the dress is so heavily decorated that the dress and its bodice will be able to stand up on its own as a sculptural exhibit within its Perspex cube. Individually delicate and decorative, the unique stitches by people all over the world add the layers and layers of expression that create the strong and rigid armor of the art piece that is the Barocco dress.

The piece makes tangible the interplay through embroidery between a variety of cultures, each with their own identity and experience, who express themselves through their stitches.